Junior Patriot Cup debuts at GHCG

Several of the top junior golfers from across the Midwest converged on Grand Haven Golf Club for the Mid-American Junior Golf Tour's first-ever Junior Patriot Cup Classic. The event featured 27 boys and 15 girls, most of whom hailed from Illinois. The winning girl was Kelli Ono of Highland Park, Ill. She shot a sparkling 74 on Thursday, then struggled to an 84 on Friday. Her total of 158 was two strokes better than Kennedy Bodfield of St. Catharines, Ontario.
Matt DeYoung
Jul 6, 2012

 

The boys’ winner was Jack Junge of Winnetka, Ill., who shot rounds of 74 and 75 for a 149. Second was Patrick Flavin of Highwood, Ill. He shot an 83 on Thursday, but bounced back with a 68 on Friday for a total of 151.

“That’s the best round of golf I’ve ever had,” Flavin said. “Yesterday I shot an 83. I really struggled on the back nine.

“Today, the key was putting it in the fairway and hitting good iron shots. The course is a lot tighter than courses I usually play. It’s in great shape, but the greens are tricky. It was important to be in the right place on the green.”

To see more photos from Friday's action, click here.

The highlight of Flavin’s round was an eagle on No. 14. After a nice drive, he put his 3-wood to within six feet, then rolled in the eagle putt.

“That’s my first eagle ever,” said Flavin, who plays around 15 tournaments during the summer months. “I was very nervous.”

David Blechman of Northfield, Ill., also struggled on Thursday, shooting an 87, before bouncing back with a 79 on Friday. His total of 166 placed him tied for 17th with Grand Haven’s Mark Nalley, who shot identical rounds of 83.

Matt Nalley of Grand Haven tied for 14th after shooting a 76 on Thursday and an 87 on Friday.

“This tour is cool because you get more exposure but you’re able to stay close to home,” Blechman said. “Plus you know you’re going to get to play really tough golf courses.

“This course is a lot different from the other courses we play, but it’s right up there with all the other courses. It’s shorter and more unforgiving.”

The MAJGT is part of the American Junior Golf Association, a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to “the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf.”

Stephanie Schwartz is senior director of the MAJGT and said she’s thrilled to have developed a new relationship with Grand Haven Golf Club and club owner Dr. John Rooney.

“This is a regional tour throughout the Midwest that gets national recognition,” Schwartz said. “For this event, we’re donating all of our proceeds to the Folds of Honor Foundation. I met Dr. John Rooney at a Patriot Cup event in Chicago, and we were looking to come up with another charity. We’re a nonprofit, and one of our missions is to give back to a charity.

“We love Grand Haven Golf Club. The course is very narrow, and the kids can attest, they don’t even touch driver here. You can tell score-wise which ones have figured that out. We’ll definitely be back next summer.”

Rooney was more than happy to have another event join the Patriot Golf movement.

“This tour is one of the best junior tours in the country, and we’re very pleased they decided to support our foundation and come to Grand Haven,” Rooney said.

“This is the start of a long-standing relationship.”

Comments

eimee

Sorry, but I really don't like golf. The sport is boring and doesn't involve any physicality. - James Stuckey

 

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